Daily Archives: October 12, 2009

Jim Pickard

a statement from Labour:

Sir Thomas Legg’s Provisional Conclusion on Mr Brown’s Expenses Sir Thomas Legg has assessed Mr Brown’s past expenses from 2004-05 to 2008-09. Read more

Jim Pickard

A House of Commons watchdog today recommended “no further action” against Jacqui Smith after she admitted wrongfully claiming expenses, apologised and paid the money back.

Instead the former home secretary will just have to make an apology to the House later today. There is no fine. Read more

Gordon Brown loves asset sales. The problem is he has been trying to sell the same assets for about 11 years. Today the prime minister put a “for sale” sign over the Tote, Royal Mint, student loans and local government property — the very same assets he has been trying to sell since first becoming chancellor.  Take a look these extracts from a 1998 Treasury press release entitled “Investing in Britain”:

decisions on investments and existing assets will be taken on the basis of what delivers the public interest. What counts is what works. So there will be a programme of asset sales and additional investments financed by PFI arrangements; Read more

One more New Labour guru admits the “third way” could lead to a job with the Tories. Will Hutton, author of The State We’re In, tells Public Servant that he’s willing to serve his country under any colour of government.

“I’m a patriot and I believe in the public interest, and of course I will do things to promote that if asked to. I’m not going to say ‘no, you’re Tories’.” Read more

Jim Pickard

When I woke up this morning I thought I had time travelled back to April; when Alistair Darling promised to raise £16bn from asset sales. But no: the news on the radio was that Gordon Brown would promise to sell assets….and they would be worth £16bn.

So what has changed? I wrote only a week ago that the original Budget target was probably moonshine because it depended on councils volunteering to sell off their homes, offices, playing fields etc (what’s in it for them?). A vast £11bn of the £16bn is meant to come from local authorities. Read more